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Sunday, April 14

"F"-ing Weekend


FIRST FILL

Friday, I saw the surgeon for my 6-weeks post-op appointment, and also got my first fill. I knew going in that at each appointment, the fills are “to be determined” but I was pretty confident that it was going to happen. When I first started eating four weeks ago, and by eating I mean swallowing mush with a spoon, I would feel signs of restriction after a ½ cup or so, which eventually turned into restriction after a full cup, and by my appointment on Friday I could eat way past a cup if I wanted to. Now, I have been a good girl by sticking to my cup allotment for each meal, but after my food was gone, I felt like I COULD keep eating, and that’s how you know you need a fill.

Restriction is different than being full like we are used to. Full is a feeling that your stomach has reached maximum capacity (or more) and usually results in having to undo the button on your pants, or at least it did for me. Restriction, on the other hand is a feeling in the chest, kinda like you have a big burp to let out, except you don’t really have to burp at all, it’s the magic signal from the band.

[WARNING:  Read on at your own risk, this post involves needles. It’s important for me to share as truthfully as possible as this blog is intended to help educate people interested in the band as well as for me to get my story out. ]

The surgeon agreed I needed a fill so he had me lie on a medical table in the examination room. I don’t know what I was expecting but there were no rubber gloves or any please put on this gown opening to the front. I just laid on the table and pulled my shirt up to my bra. The surgeon then asked me to do a sit up and put a pillow under my lower back so that my butt and shoulders were on the table but my stomach was raised. He gave me a shot of Novocain in the area, which felt much like any routine flu shot, and then once the area was numb I did another sit up and he shot me in the port with a second needle filled with saline. The fluid amount was 1cc in my 10 cc band  (one cubic centimeter which is also 1 ml of liquid, not quite sure why they can’t just say that to begin with.) I was given a Band-Aid and a paper cup to sip from.  The liquid went down just fine so then the nutritionist came in to make sure my diet was going well, was VERY pleased with my weight loss, and I was on my way.

So now as of this week I’m on regular food and I have gotten some mixed banding signals. Breakfast was cottage cheese and applesauce and I felt the restriction loud and clear after a cup. Lunch was two squares of pizza at a birthday party and I felt just some restriction. Dinner was one chicken enchilada and I could have kept going but I didn’t. So basically, I will for sure need a second fill in a few weeks and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of the band, it’s totally customizable. Most patients require many fills before they reach a point where they are in a good place, also called the “green zone” in our lingo.

FAUX DIAMONDS

One of the NSVs (non-scale victories) that happens when you lose a significant amount of weight is you almost lose your wedding ring. If you really lose it then you have terribly bad luck in my culture so no one wants that to happen. For me this means packing up the real ring and bringing in an imposter. I just can’t walk around without a wedding band, my finger feels naked, and I like to look co-dependent and taken I guess.  I searched online and found a ring that was comparable to mine to wear until I loose enough weight were getting the real one resized makes more sense. Here is a pic of what I ended up with, real on top, faux on the bottom.

Both are hearts. I also wanted that to be the same. Consistency is key when you are trying to fake people out. Funny thing is, even though I much prefer my real diamond, I kinda like the fake setting better, I think the center stone looks more prominent and special. I have  mentioned to my husband casually that I may never size the real ring at all, just buy a new setting for my heart….hmmmm….we shall see!!

FRESH INK

So I have lost 30% of my excess weight, I’m getting rid of fat clothes left and right and wearing the jeans that have been abandoned at the bottom of my drawers again. What better way to commemorate this milestone than with a tattoo. I already had two tattoos, a Cardinal on my foot to symbolize my husband and I being college sweethearts, a sun/moon combo on my back for my two kids who really are the sun and moon, and now this one was finally going to be for me. As a writer, I love quotes and words; I love how simple phrases can be so short and yet  mean so much at the same time. I’m a musical theater girl, overdramatic and romantic and song lyrics have always had a special place in my life.

The first time I saw RENT was in 1997(original cast) and I have seen it 4 more times on stage since. It still stands as my absolute favorite musical. My husband even took me on a surprise trip to New York on our Babymoon (google it) to see it on Broadway! And of course, the main theme from the show, “No Day But Today” has been like a mantra for me many times in my life. Now it seems I am truly living it. In all the craziness of a mom’s life, I did something for myself for a change. I did something drastic and life-changing for myself without worrying about what will happen down the road. I looked aside from statistics, surgical side-effects and complications and just went for it because, no one has a crystal ball that I know of and I want every minute I have with my family to count.  So I got the tattoo right above my port scar, because my band is the manifestation of the words for me....



Saturday, April 6

Cheating


Today sucked. Not because it was BEAUTIFUL out in Chicago. Not because my husband not only suggested but INSISTED we take a family trip to IKEA today. Not because I got a bunch of kitchen shit I really didn’t need for cheap ass prices. But because I succumbed to the diet demons and cheated on myself.

I am admitting this wrongdoing for a few reasons. For starters, I feel like a hot mess right now and this is the only way I can think of to get the harsh feelings toward myself out. Secondly, I would be doing no one justice to pretend that this journey didn’t have any more hurdles to jump, that it was the most easy and perfect thing to happen in my adult life.

I have been stuck at the 30 lb. mark for TWO WEEKS. The new scale I ordered came and to no avail, the extra weight I feel like I am still carrying didn’t magically disappear as if the former scale suffered from shitty manufacturing.  The scale just refuses to budge, whether I have a good day or not on my diet, if I do my arm weight exercises or now, and it is frustrating. On my Lap-Band online support group they would call the stage that I’m in “Bandster Hell” which signifies the time between getting your band when you have rapid weight loss, and the time that your band actually get’s filled and begins to help you with restriction. Where a cup of mushed food once seemed like a four course meal to me, it now is starting to not be enough, leaving me wanting and weak. I go see the surgeon on April 12th for my first fill and hopefully I’ll be back on track with all of that.

I have been really good about not being in the wrong food place at the wrong food time, but it is very hard on the weekends. Also, I have been very sneaky and defiant and am justifying foods that I can mash to dust in my mouth as a puree diet. Like a cracker, or a cheese puff, or a French fry. Yes, I might take 8 bites out of that one fry, but I can mash it and swallow and feel no rare and detrimental effects afterwards. There is no esophageal warning right now to keep my mouth shut and move away from the food. I am healed from the surgery now, and I am hungry.

Cheating is a horrible thing. Not only aren’t we doing ourselves any favors in reaching our goals, but what’s worse is that we feel like complete assholes afterwards. I have not been involved in a cheating experience in any relationships (that I know of obviously) but is cheating on yourself any better or any worse than being cheated on by someone else? I mean, okay, I am being over dramatic. This would be one of those times when I remind people that I was in theater and suddenly it all makes sense to them why I react the way I do.  I would take a small (and hopefully curable) disease before I took a cheating husband, but today I feel just plain aggravated and disappointed in myself. And gross, did I mention gross??  I mean, this is only the second time in almost 7 weeks that I have eaten over  900 calories!! (The first time was my secret.) My former self would kill 1500 cals in one lunch at McD’s and not even feel full, and today I am beating myself up for doing it over the span of a whole day. And on a Saturday night dinner at Portillo's the shame!

But it’s over. I can’t go back. I can only get a spanking smack myself on the hand and promise to do better tomorrow (….did I really just write that online?!?! Damn, those unauthorized French fries really did a number on me.)

Monday, April 1

Easter Blessings


I did it. I made it through the first major Holiday with my band, in the puree stage none the less, and I did it. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be an honestly I’m here to tell you that if you are on the fence with talking to your family about your thought of weight loss surgery, do it, talk to them. I don’t know how I would have done it if I had pretended to have my appendix removed on March 4th instead of getting a Lap-Band. I mean, it’s possible your family isn’t as cool as mine is, but really, no one bugged me to come sit by the appetizer spread, no one asked me why I only had two deviled eggs and two slices of eggplant for dinner, and no one tried to push the cheesecake on me because THEY KNEW.  I was able to make it through and stay under my daily allotment of 1000 calories and even though I know I would have been successful either way, it made a huge difference that I didn’t have to pretend I had a queasy stomach and that’s why I wasn’t eating.

 Also, let the record show that technically I can have pop again since I gave it up for Lent which is now passed.  But you know what? I don’t even crave it anymore.  Seriously! I have kicked the habit because even if I see pop I no longer start to twitch from the smell anymore, or the warm fuzzy feeling of bubbles on my tongue. They say that it takes 40 days to forgive an addiction, and it must be true. I’m the proof in the sugar-free-fat-free pudding!!

Lastly, can I just say once again, (and will say MANY,  MANY  times again so feel free to gag yourself with  a spoon) that I have the best Husband in the whole world. This has nothing to do with weight loss surgery, but as I see more and more relationships struggle and crumble around me I am reminded that my gut instinct to give the “Country Boy” (and that’s putting it kindly) I met when I was 20-years-old   a fighting chance for my affection was spot on.  I know he is reading this (because if he doesn’t   I have a foot-stomping,  arms-crossed tantrum like Marisa Tomei in “My Cousin Vinny”  ;), and I don’t have to put it in a public blog to mean anything, but……….just, thanks baby.

Happy April everyone!! I hope the warm weather finds you wherever you are <3